When LTC (R) Allen West says,
As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.
LTC (R) West prefaced his statement with the fact that the Marines should be dealt non-judicial punishment on behalf of UCMJ but not labeled "war criminals" as some have suggested.
If this had not been videotaped, then likely the Marines would have been found guilty and sentenced non-judicially perhaps even discharged with a General Discharge or prohibited from being re-enlisting - if their Command had known about it.
Our military training does not need to be improved. The troops are well-trained from the beginning about laws of war. Let's not place the actions of a few idiots and make them the epitome of our professional forces.
The effort in Afghanistan is not like a plague that forever changes our troops to do horrible things to dead enemy Soldiers. Perhaps minutes before, a 50 caliber round had just pierced the fleshy chest of one of those enemy fighters. We do not hear any narratives about that or how some Soldiers yesterday made a little kid's day when they gave them some candy. Rather we hear stories about how our Soldiers are stuck in a quagmire and they come back beaten or broken. The image of a veteran loaded like an angry powderkeg is a common theme in the media and it only deepens wide misunderstandings between the general non-military, deployed public and the combat experienced veteran. In reality, many Soldiers come back perfectly fine. Of course they are changed, but they are not this angry powderkeg ready to explode at a moments notice, homeless, or jobless because of the wounds of war. We are a lot stronger than you may think.